18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, July 28, 1913 – Thursday, July 31, 1913: Nothing very much doing for these days. It’s so terrible hot and I have a hard time of it just doing nothing. I’d hate to go anyplace such weather as this is.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
This is the third of four days that Grandma lumped together into one diary entry.
Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific for this date, I’m going to share some more hundred-year-old advice from an advice columnist called “Aunt Harriet.” It was published in Farm Journal.
[Note: Aunt Harriet didn’t include the original questions, just the answers.]
“Whistling Girl”: No, I do not think it improper for a young, healthy and happy girl to whistle around her own home; but it would be unwise for her to walk along the street or public highway doing so.
“Dismay”: It is not necessary to have s written agreement concerning the breaking of an engagement. You can ask the young woman to release you from a promise which you feel has been a mistake and say that you will return her gifts and her letters, and she will no doubt understand that you expect her to do the same with yours. Make your request in language as polite as you can command, and consider well before you enter into another engagement.
L.T.W.: It is rather difficult to make advance now that the young man has left your neighborhood. If you had any special reason for refusing his attentions, and now find that you were mistaken, you might write and tell him so. On the other hand, if it was just a whim and you have gotten over it, you might write and explain. You could write to him about like this: “Dear friend John: In thinking over the changes in our neighborhood, I am reminded of my lack of appreciation of your attention to me. I sincerely regret my shortcomings in this direction.
Farm Journal (May, 1913)
You may also enjoy these previous posts that contain advice from Aunt Harriet: